Same-sex marriage battle still rages on after

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Ohio's voters spoke clearly last November on the issue of same-sex marriage. The public overwhelmingly showed its support for Issue 1, the Constitutional amendment to clarify that the term "marriage" only pertains to the union of a man and a woman.

Just before Issue 1 went to the voters, we said it was pointless, not because we supported same-sex marriages in any way, but because the state law will likely be trumped by the federal courts at some point.

But the issue went to the voters anyway and passed by a landslide.

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So, the issue has gone away, right? Not even close and it is not likely to anytime soon. Many churches and other countries have now joined the moral and legal fight, only further clouding the issue that is already a murky mess.

The Cleveland-based United Church of Christ recently passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriages and calling on member churches of the liberal denomination's 1.3 million members to consider wedding policies, ''that do not discriminate against couples based on gender.''

The resolution also asks churches to consider supporting legislation granting equal marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples and to work against laws banning gay marriage.

Regardless of how you feel about the issue, this church's actions fly in the face of Issue 1 and could leave many Ohioans confused. Now, more than ever, the U.S. Supreme Court must definitively rule on the issue to make it apply uniformly across our nation.

Are same-sex unions allowed at all? Are they allowed but should they be

called something else? What rights are available otherwise?

Several U.S. states recognize unions among same-sex couples, but the laws giving them full rights of married couples have been struck down by

state courts. But, it is only a matter of time before this issue comes before a judge again and is ruled upon differently.

Now, the rest of the world is getting involved too.

Spain recently made gay marriage legal and provides the same rights and benefits of traditional married couples - the right to marry, adopt children and inherit each other's property.

The Netherlands and Belgium have also recently handled the issue.

Here in America, the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say and we hope they exercise their rights to decide soon so the lobbying for the issue will go away. The high court can overturn any state law and could go a long way to resolving the issue - at least on a legal standpoint - by ruling on the matter as it involves federal law.

Morally, well, that decision will still fall on the individual.